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I just had to share this with you folks here. I hired a new helper (apprentice) fresh and green, knew nothing. He's been working with me for almost three months. He's been doing a pretty good job so far, actually handing me tools without being asked for them, fittings etc...
I knew that his personal life was a little shady, liked to tip the bottle more than I would like but I thought what the hell, as long as he shows up on time and is sober what's the big deal right?
I could tell all along he really didn't like the gopher work, being told what to do etc. After ONE faucet install he said he should be able to intall all the faucets for now on. After one main line sewer job he said he get's it already and didn't need to be told what to do anymore.
I reminded him that he has oh, about 5000 more hours to go before he's considered a journeyman and that's after he passes his test.
The last week he started wearing his black beanie and dark shades instead of the company hat and safety glasses (when needed). I confronted him about it and asked him to leave the beanie at home and to wear the company uniform while at work, he refused, told me I was extreme and crazy. He's 23 years old and is now unemployed as of today.:furious:
 

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It usually takes about 6 months or so to see if helpers will make it, at least in my experience. We had one kind of like that a few weeks ago. I asked him to go grab a tool out of my truck and he told me to. I did, and made him sit in the truck the rest of the day untill I finished the job, then he was let go.
 

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It all kind of makes your freeking head spin don't it? These cocky little bastards think that after a few weeks of schlepping tools, they are suddenly gods gift to plumbing and we can all go F ourselves. Do you suppose the moron ever read a newspaper or looks at the news, cause good jobs ain't zactly falling off trees anymore. Even when times were good, I would go through a dozen or more a year of these useless, self absorbed, lazy, good for nothing thieves and liars, before finding one that I could trust and that would shut his yap and do the damn job. I don't envy you guys having to put up with the crap and thank god my brother handles the employees now. My blood pressure just can't take the aggravation anymore.:censored:
 

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:thumbup: Im young but I came up in the trade with some hard nosed plumbers. It was their way or no way. I work just like they taught me.
 

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I learned awhile back also to never hire someone thats a friend as your helper. I once played in a band and our singer had lost his job working for a remodeling company. He's your basic framing carpenter type and actually is pretty good with tools and doing carpentry type of work. So I figured at least he should have a decent work ethic and enough basic knowledge to be a great helper. So I talked my boss into hiring him for my crew.

Didn't take long at all before he was taking excessive breaks, and eating all the time (everytime a roach coach would pass by he'd be at it). I even caught him napping occasionally. I finally had enough and told him that just because we were friends and band mates that didn't give him any right to be a slacker. His response? "Dude, what's it to you? It isn't like YOU pay me".

He was gone the next day. And of course that stressed our friendship and I left the band about a month later. Really upset me too, because I really liked that band.
 

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When I started plumbing I was 16 years old and full of piss and vinegar. Fortunately, I had some strong men to answer to who wouldn't let me get away with being stupid. They ran my little butt ragged all summer, 110 degree heat, 16 hour days, 6 or 7 days a week, and they weren't going to hold my hand. There was a job to be done and I made it my personal rule to never let the boss work harder than me. That was sometimes impossible with these guys but I gave it everything I had no matter what. I'm eternally grateful to those men for teaching me what "work ethic" really means. After eighteen months at that company we were sitting at lunch reminiscing and counted 57 helpers that had come and gone in the time I had been there. Not like we were a big organization at the time either, only had about 7 employees most of the time.

Now, I'm the man on top, hiring and firing guys old enough to be my father and these men learn quickly that I demand excellence from them or they get to find somewhere else to draw a paycheck. It amazes me how many bums are out there just trying to milk the clock each day.

I can't figure it out, it doesn't seem to all depend on age either. The best employee I have right now is a 19 year old recovering drug addict. He was given a second chance to get his act together and he came to me looking for a job. He's only been with me 6 months, but he is the most dependable, hardest working employee that I have. He's hungry, he's focused, and he's positive that he wants to be a plumber for the rest of his life. I wish I could find more like him, most young guys I run across are just looking for somewhere else to be a mooch.
 

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I can't figure it out, it doesn't seem to all depend on age either. The best employee I have right now is a 19 year old recovering drug addict. He was given a second chance to get his act together and he came to me looking for a job. He's only been with me 6 months, but he is the most dependable, hardest working employee that I have. He's hungry, he's focused, and he's positive that he wants to be a plumber for the rest of his life. I wish I could find more like him, most young guys I run across are just looking for somewhere else to be a mooch.
Kudos to you bro. I myself was givin a second chance.
 

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...110 degree heat, 16 hour days, 6 or 7 days a week
That wasn't by any chance the summer of 2000 was it? Man, that year SUCKED!!!! You guys had it worse than we did in Houston, but we set an all time high during that time period of 109, and it was over 100 for I think 35 straight days...no rain, no wind, plenty of humidity!!

I spent a great deal of that summer in attics. Real fun, but hey, it built character!
 

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I remember in the early 80's when I got into the Union apprienticeship program, there was a recession on and not enough work for everybody, so the employers kept us running scared with unemployment if we didn't perform well enough. They would say "There's 30 men at the union hall waiting to take your place". Come to think of it when I became a journeyman they still said that! And meant it too. :furious:
 

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Iam now 59 started at 21 just out of basic training ( national guard) full of piss and vinagar .My first yrs are a blurr now, digging water services by hand, sewer lines too if less than waist deep, hours in truck looking for pipe streacher .Then after much study a journeymans card and my own truck .Water lines under double driveways ,you guys know, all the hard nasty stuff the older guys didnt want .Finally my masters and a franchise ,that was my real 1st lession. I stuck it out a few yrs and got me a good name and plenty of customers and never looked back Plumbing has been my life and has been good to me.Maybe all apprent should go through a BASIC training, believe me after 8 weeks at Ft Ord at 20 yrs old , alabama plumbing, the digging crawling under houses ,trips to supply house were a breeze. I am proud to be known now as a retired PLUMBER
 

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I have definitely found that if they don't want to do the grunt work I don't want them. I cannot even count how many newbies I let go of when I was the GM of a 50 man shop. I always found 1 thing true. The newbie who talked alot and made lots of friends right off the bat never made it. The quiet shy ones always did and I had good luck with cons if they didn't start using again.
 

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i guess ive had it pretty easy working under my brother in law. and he tells me to do something and just tell him to F off. but i prolly end up getting it anyway just because iam faster than him. haha that must be the cockiness of an apprentice. oh well ill have the license in 6 months so its cool.
 

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i guess ive had it pretty easy working under my brother in law. and he tells me to do something and just tell him to F off. but i prolly end up getting it anyway just because iam faster than him. haha that must be the cockiness of an apprentice. oh well ill have the license in 6 months so its cool.
Oops... Sorry about droppin the pipe wrench on your head...:laughing:
Something tells me you and I wouldn't have gotten along....:no:
 

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:thumbup: Im young but I came up in the trade with some hard nosed plumbers. It was their way or no way. I work just like they taught me.
Same here, I never talked back, did what I was told never complained. The way I looked at it was that this guy was teaching me something that would eventually feed my family. Ya there was some days I wanted told tell my journeyman to go f himself, but I just bit my tougue and worked!
 

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I never talked back either. But then again I am of the old school over 40. Back in the day when Dads were allowed to use a belt for attitude adjustments and teachers could smack you in the back of the head. My early years I dug so many trenches that their was no way I was gonna jepordize it with a smart mouth:no: I got whacked a couple of times by accidental pipes on the shoulder and figured things out really quick. The new kids today spend their time from kindergarten on being told how special they are and that their opinions matter that by the time the get to any work place they are so full of themselves you need to run a snake up their arse to clear the back up of bull.... Beat your kids now and they will be the heroes of the work force tomorrow:laughing:
 

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i guess ive had it pretty easy working under my brother in law. and he tells me to do something and just tell him to F off. but i prolly end up getting it anyway just because iam faster than him. haha that must be the cockiness of an apprentice. oh well ill have the license in 6 months so its cool.
im the brother in law ... and he is a very good case of an apprentice gone wrong... hes gonna have hell to pay on monday:furious:
 

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panzy

:thumbup:this guy is saying im gonna have hell to pay on monday and he doesnt even show up for work. panzy ..:furious: i guess when u get your license you become a lazy ass. haha cant wait
 
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